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Visual Artist Caroline Woolard Creates a Game for Bad Meetings

Imagine you walk into a meeting room, sit down, and rather than getting out your laptop, iPad or notebook, you pick up a group of wood and glass spheres and start rolling them across the table to signal who is speaking, who is not, and for how long. That’s what visual artist Caroline Woolard explores in a new exhibition at The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design, on view Saturday, August 3 through Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Meeting explores collaborative dialog amidst the inevitable antagonisms of group work.

The exhibition also features a curated archive of Woolard’s past work, including the correspondence, sketches, budgets, and technical drawings required to create collaborative, multi-year, public initiatives using both online networks and sculptural environments. Viewers will experience Woolard’s “politics of transparency” with open source web 2.0 technology as well as the administrative work required to produce immersive installations and artist-run institutions.

The closing reception and artist talk, part of the College’s ongoing Conversations@Moore public program series, will be held Thursday, September 12, 5–8 pm. The Galleries at Moore are located at 1916 Race Street, located on The Parkway. The exhibition and public program are free and open to the public, and ADA accessible.

Woolard is the first recipient of the Jane and David Walentas Endowed Fellowship, a prestigious award launched earlier in 2019 that underscores Moore’s ongoing commitment to social engagement by offering opportunities to thoughtful artists who bring their vision for the future of cultural production to the Moore community and the larger artistic community of Philadelphia. Pictured left: Caroline Woolard. Image courtesy of the artist.

“My excitement about these objects in meetings or gatherings comes out of building a lot of interdisciplinary projects that require people from entirely different backgrounds and disciplines to work together,” Woolard said. “After doing this for almost a decade, I realized that one of the main difficulties we had was in addressing conflict in groups.”

“This collection of photographs, prints and documentation demonstrates to our students and visitors the intricacies of an artist's working process,” said The Galleries Director Gabrielle Lavin Suzenski. “It's a behind-the-scenes look at Caroline's planning and correspondence that leads to project realization—visitors will walk away with a comprehensive sense of where she was living and working while she created the artworks. It follows her path out of school and into her career as a working professional in the arts.”

Woolard is the inaugural Walentas Endowed Fellow and will hold the position through June 2020.

Caroline Woolard employs sculptures, installations and online networks to study the pleasures and pains of interdependence. Woolard has co-founded barter networks OurGoods.org and TradeSchool.coop (2008–15), the Study Center for Group Work (since 2016), BFAMFAPhD.com (since 2014), and the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (since 2016). Recent writing on her work has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, Artforum, Art in America, and the New York Times. Woolard’s work has been featured twice in the PBS / Art21 documentary series New York CloseUp. Woolard is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Hartford and a mentor in MFA Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts. Making and Being, her forthcoming book about interdisciplinary collaboration, co-authored with Susan Jahoda, will be published in fall 2019. Her work can be viewed at her website, carolinewoolard.com, and at her project website, studycollaboration.com 

Published on July 12th, 2019